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->''I had enough trouble living up to [[Film/TheLordOfTheRings one legend]]. Two would be too much to hope for.''
-->--'''[=Ian McKellen=]''', on turning down the role of [[Film/HarryPotter Dumbledore]].

'''Sir Ian Murray [=McKellen=]''' (born May 25, 1939) is a [[ShakespearianActors Shakespearean actor]], widely known for his roles as Gandalf in the ''[[Film/TheLordoftheRings Lord of the Rings]]'' trilogy and ''Film/TheHobbit'', Magneto in ''Film/{{X-Men}}'' ([[http://27.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_le5ts5f9kq1qfti5wo1_500.jpg get over it]]) and as Number Two in the remake of ''ThePrisoner'', [[TheGoldenCompass a certain polar bear]], and the Great Intelligence in the 2012 Series/DoctorWho ChristmasSpecial. He starred with Creator/DerekJacobi in a series called ''{{Series/Vicious}}'', a gay DomCom about [[GrowOldWithMe a long-partnered male couple]].

He's also openly gay and an ardent supporter of gay rights ([[AvertedTrope averting]] NobodyOver50IsGay), advocating it to the exclusion of other causes. Indeed, when the Conservative and pro-[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Section_28 Section 28]] Local Government Minister Michael Howard asked for an autograph from [=McKellen=] in 1988, [=McKellen=] instead wrote, "[[PrecisionFStrike Fuck off,]] [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome I'm gay]]".

He's also authorized to perform marriages, as he officiated the September 2013 wedding of his friend Creator/PatrickStewart to Sunny Ozell.

!!Tropes:
* ActorAllusion: His appearance on ''HaveIGotNewsForYou'' had constant references to his role in ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings''.
* CannotSpitItOut / TwiceShy: Closest trope to his relationship with Creator/DerekJacobi while both were at [[{{Oxbridge}} Cambridge]]: by his own admission, he had a crush on Jacobi (who was in his class) that was "unexpressed and unrequited". Jacobi later said that he himself had a crush on [=McKellen=].
* CoolOldGuy
* EnforcedMethodActing: He hosted ''Series/SaturdayNightLive,'' and in one sketch played Dame Maggie Smith, being interviewed on Weekend Update. At one point he asked Jimmy Fallon, "Kiss for luck?" Fallon leaned over, clearly expecting a peck on the cheek. Ian grabbed him and gave him an open-mouthed smooch right on the lips, leaving Fallon visibly stunned. It was ''hilarious.''
* HeterosexualLifePartners: With Creator/PatrickStewart.
* IsThisThingStillOn: During the filming of ''Film/TheHobbitTheDesolationOfSmaug'', he had to spend hours in a box with nothing but a microphone and pictures of the dwarves for company (the footage would be edited in to make him look taller than the dwarves), and was so upset by this that he exclaimed "This is ''not'' why I became an actor!" The microphone was still on and everyone on set heard him as a result.
* KnightFever: Though he prefers not be called Sir Ian in person "[[http://www.vanityfair.com/online/oscars/2011/01/sir-ian-mckellen-has-sad-news-for-hobbit-fans-theres-no-sex-in-middle-earth because I donít like being separated out from the rest of the population]]".
** Except when hanging with Creator/PatrickStewart, when they call each other Sir Ian and Sir Patrick.
* LargeHam: Just check him [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhEL0ioJwKQ#t=1m58s giving instructions on]] [[MundaneMadeAwesome changing a flat tire]].
* OneOfUs: [[http://runninguphill.tumblr.com/post/44148484203/sparkyhopper-aaaaaaaa This little gem]].
* MetaCasting: In ''Film/GodsAndMonsters'', he played James Whale, the director of ''[[Film/{{Frankenstein 1931}} Frankenstein]]'' and ''Film/BrideOfFrankenstein'', who was homosexual.
* StraightGay
** StupidSexyFlanders: Though he apparently grew quite enamoured with Creator/CateBlanchett on the set of ''Film/TheHobbitAnUnexpectedJourney''.
* TransparentCloset: Not to the general public, but when he came out to his stepmother (at the age of 49, no less), her response was:
--> "Oh, I thought you were going to say something important ! I've known for 30 years !"
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